Kickstart FC announces tie-up with Dutch club FC SBC for international cooperation

by KickstartFC on Feb 21, 2018

Partnership involves an exposure tour to Netherlands, setting up a joint professional club in Bengaluru. Kickstart FC, a state of the art football facility located in JP Nagar, is pleased to announce a tie-up with Dutch club FC SBC (Son en Breugel Combinatie) for the promotion of football at the grassroots level.

FC SBC, based in Son en Breugel just outside Eindhoven, play in the Fourth Sunday Division. It's a club known for its initiatives in developing the game among children, seniors, differently-abled and refugees.

The long-term collaboration with Kickstart FC involves an exposure tour, where a team of 30 children from the Kickstart FC Academy and Kickstart FC Foundation will get to train under the FC SBC coaches in Netherlands.

That apart, FC SBC will share its knowledge and human resource to set up a full-time Dutch coach at the Kickstart FC campus. The club has agreed to send a coach holding a UEFA Pro License to Kickstart FC.

Additionally, the Dutch side will conduct train-the-trainer programme in Netherlands and Bengaluru. It also will support Kickstart Foundation's grassroots programmes and provide access to international facilities for the underprivileged kids from the Foundation. The Kickstart FC Foundation supports more than 200 children in the football hot-beds of Gautamapura, Lingarajapuram and Murphy Town.

In more exciting news, FC SBC and Kickstart FC look to set up a professional SBC-Kickstart team that will participate in the Bangalore District Football Association's Super Division League, gradually looking to play in the I-League or Indian Super League. The club will be established later this year.

Announcing the tie-up, Mr Shekhar Rajan, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Kickstart FC, said: “This path-breaking partnership between Kickstart FC-FC SBC is aimed at developing the game at all levels. It will give the UEFA touch to our coaching programmes. The collaboration is for a mutually-benefiting cause. While we look to provide international exposure to our Kickstart FC Academy children, FC SBC, who are involved in many more grassroots initiatives, look to broaden their horizons in global football markets. I am sure that the exposure trip will open new doors for our Academy and Foundation children. We hope to see them make the national team one day.”

Throwing some light on the Netherlands tour, Mr Laxman Bhattarai, the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Kickstart FC, said: “This exposure will be a life-changing experience for our children. They will travel to Holland and train for about 10 days under the FC SBC coaches, who are recognised by the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB). We’re planning to take about 22 children from the Kickstart FC Academy and eight from the Kickstart FC Foundation, whose expenses are fully sponsored by us. The children will also play matches against the age-group teams of top Dutch clubs like FC Eindhoven and Ajax Amsterdam in Netherlands. FC SBC will later send their age-group team to India for a couple of friendlies.”

Previously, Kickstart FC organised friendlies against Mohun Bagan and East Bengal in October 2017, where the children also witnessed the final of the 2017 FIFA Under-17 World Cup. Kickstart FC also took a squad of 28, comprising 24 Academy and four Foundation players, to Nepal in December 2017 for friendlies against the Nepal junior national team and Pokhara state team.

Willem van’t Geloof, the chairman and president of FC SBC, said: “It bodes well for us to have this association with Kickstart FC, Bengaluru. We have been involved in promoting social developmental programmes through football since the club was established way back in 1939. We look forward to sharing our knowledge and expertise with Kickstart FC. I am sure that this partnership will be fruitful and will go a long way to making India a football giant.”

Explaining why SBC chose to tie up with Kickstart FC, van't Geloof explained: "The driving factor behind this was the Kickstart FC Foundation. It’s an initiative where young kids from the underprivileged section of the society get to play football and receive training. The Foundation shows them that if they work hard and pursue the game, there’s a way out of poverty for them. These children come from the slums and Kickstart FC Foundation provides them an environment where they can excel and discover their worth. There are many academies in India but Kickstart's Foundation initiative is the one which impressed us most because it has a social impact on the children through football."

Going forward, Kickstart FC plans to set up nine grounds in three metro cities – Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad. All the grounds will be laid with artificial turf, supplied by ACT, the official partners of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. It is also looking to partner the French Football Federation (FFF) for more exchange programmes.